Aphra \a-ph-ra\ as a girl's name is pronounced AFF-rah. Possibly means "young deer" in Hebrew. Also possibly from the Latin name Afra, which was originally an ethnic name for a woman from Africa, which was later used as a nickname for a dark person. It was also the name of a fourth-century German saint. The respelling of the name to Aphra may be due to Aphrah as biblical place name, meaning "dust". Dust and Ashes were actually used by English Puritans as first names in the 17th century. Writer Aphra Behn (17th century).